Here is a demonstration I created on how to setup a SCCM advertisement to remotely and securely wake-up (boot) Intel vPro systems and push an automated BIOS upgrade.  I wanted to show a useful and real-world Intel vPro Use Case that you can use today.  If there are other Use Cases you would like to see, please post your comments and I will get more of these types of videos posted.

 

Thanks,

Bill

 

It’s a typical day, HOTTER than the sun, AC’s blasting everywhere you go and you realize I forgot to send that report that was due.  You quickly boot up your laptop, find the file & hit send.  You then return to your day as if that was just normal and you did nothing major.    The realization that you just leveraged one of the most powerful organizations in your company does not even hit your radar screen.   Why do I think this is the case?  Well, seriously end-users expectations of their IT service is continuing to move at a MEGA pace, not just a Crawl-Walk-Run, but a pole-vault step every month, quarter, year.     I think that for end-users they are becoming more complacent about the service and just want “It to Work, however, whenever, whatever”!   however for those in IT this is not just a easy exercise, but lucky for the end-user most of those that flourish and drive IT are bound by a common theme “Manage it, Secure it, DO as much as possible”.   I realize there’s about a ½ dozen ways to say that expression, however the theme continues to come through in all that an IT shop does.   In a perfect world, End users would not break the rules of installing rogue software, they would make sure their patches are installed and they wouldn’t take that laptop on a surf trip (NO pun intended here) in the sand.      What’s the point?     Well I think it’s time for that unsung hero in IT to get their day, their recognition for that theme that keeps a company alive, for without IT a company would not survive, not grow, flourish and be what it is.  

 

So what do I recommend?  Well I think showcasing to our peers, partners and leaders the value of IT, the theme that keeps the bond strong we can see a new level of respect, trust & response to IT shops.    One of the challenge’s of getting that group of folks enlisted on your theme is to show them the big picture, specifically where do we want to go as an IT shop & what would it smell, feel, look like.   One of the best examples of this for me are the following:  Inside Intel IT they created a framework to talk, share & have a joint passion about the future (they call It the IT blue book), for the folks in my division we have taken pieces of this framework, applied the platform lens and we call it the Predictive Enterprise.   Is Predictive  Enterprise a pipe dream?  - Kinda.  It’s a vision based the theme that we can have a better environment, where we can work on the higher value problem statements that drive more biz value for the organization.   What I have witnessed is when we use this forward looking picture it helps to get all the chiefs thinking the same, sharing that vision of where we want to go, no matter how BHAG (Big hairy Audacious goal) of it is.  

 

Why does this matter for Intel?  At the end of the day we want to co-innovate with our end users the new playing field for IT, we want to internalize that theme for where IT is going and truly make the impossible possible.  While this may seem way optimistic  it is truly the reality of what we think, talk and try to make happen.    I have been on this journey with Intel for many years and the key ingredient in what we do is You , the user of our technology, those that are passionate with us about a better future and those that are continuing to hold higher expectations of us to drive better stuff (silicon, sw, hw, etc..).     My vision of the future of Intel is to listen more, understand what we’re being told and drive tomorrow as if it’s today.   One of our slogans for Intel recently has been “sponsors of tomorrow”, and while some may find this humorous, I certainly do not.   I’ve witnessed countless times where we’ve been working on platforms for years and then finally produced them to show great value to the users (you), I’ve also spent a few years working in manufacturing on a product line that when it was released was absolutely a game changer for IT (45nm).  

 

If you share this theme, this vision, the passion please let me know, please join us in our community of IT pro’s and let’s make tomorrow something magical. 

 

Josh H

Activate Today! Realize ROI with Intel® vPro Technology and Microsoft System Configuration Manager is now available for on-demand viewing!

 

We are hosting a series of ROI and activation webinars on Tech Republic; each one is focused on a specific management console - Symantec Altiris, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, and LANDesk.

 

This live TechRepublic Webcast, featuring Q&A, will be hosted by James Hilliard and feature special guest speakers from Intel Corporation, Jeff Marek, Director of End User Platform Engineering, Digital Office, and Jeff Torello, Staff Architect, Digital Office and Jeff Wettlaufer, Sr. Technical Product Manager for System Center, Microsoft Corporation. They will discuss the ROI possible with Intel vPro technology usage models activated, a review of the primary usage models supported by SCCM, and an overview of the activation process using SCCM. Q&A will follow.

 

Have questions that aren't covered here? Please post them in the Ask An Expert forum and we'll get them answered for you.

 

Question

Answer

Could you do the demo of deployment now? We would like to see how SCCM works life, so we can implement this in our environment

Yes, this deployment technology with Intel vPro Technology and Microsoft System Center Configuration can be done today. Videos of showcasing and guides on how to execute the use case can be found on the Intel vPro Expert Center. http://www.intel.com/go/vproexpert

                                        

There are a lot of technologies out - ipmi, dash, smash - does Intel have plans to embrace or create an industry standard for remote desktop management technology as opposed to a proprietary one?

 

Actually we are built on WS-MAN standards set by the DMTF which covers standards like ASF, DAHS. However, we do add additional capabilities beyond standards to meet customers’ needs for gaps not currently filled by a standard (like Fast Call For Help).

 

                                       

Do I need a management console to perform vPro use cases?

 

No. We have a built-in interface referred to as the WebUI, but it does not support all of the vPro features that a management console would such as boot-redirection and a remote Serial-Over-LAN video and keyboard session...so using a management console is much preferred. Besides, wake-and-patch is the key use case, and software distribution is typically handled by a management console anyway. Hope that helps!

 

How do I get the biggest ROI? What use case?

 

The answer is similar to what provides a quickest ROI. It depends on company's specific challenges. For example, a highly distributed organization will see large benefits from remote remediation of machines to save cost and time driving between sites. Many other large companies choose remote power on and patching as their first use case due to ease of implementation and high ROI. The two most popular use cases are power management and remote remediation.

 

What use case provides the quickest ROI?

 

The answer really depends on company's specific challenges. For example, a highly distributed organization will see large benefits from remote remediation of machines to save cost and time driving between sites. Many other large companies choose remote power on and patching as their first use case due to ease of implementation and high ROI.

 

Any complications with multiple versions of AMT in the environment when activating?

 

Depending on how old the AMT versions are there may not be support for certain features (remote configuration is one example).  It is best to plan to update to the latest available AMT firmware version for each platform to ensure the greatest success with activation.

I have the AMT Scan Tool being deployed to my 11,000 client machines and I've modified the MOF files to gather the registry keys created by the AMT Scan Tool. My question is: Is there a pre-made SCCM web report query to view the data gathered?

 

Not to my knowledge...but that is a very good question. I will bring that to the attention of our team here at Intel that works with MS to see if we could help make that happen!

 

                    

What % of new computers are coming with vPro?

 

Almost all major OEMs are currently shipping PCs with Intel vPro technology with strong adoption of vPro by small, medium business and large enterprises. For example, over 40% of Fortune 100 companies are actively purchasing vPro.

 

I have SCCM R2 and HP laptops with VPro, do I need anything else to install or can I start using the vPro abilities with SCCM?

 

You need SCCM SP1 to begin taking advantage of vPro systems. SP1 will allow you to natively support vPro systems with firmware versions of 3.2.1 and greater. For firmware versions less than 3.2.1, you can install a free download from Intel to communicate with older systems. http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/intel-ws-management-translator/

 

Will there be an archive of this Webcast? If so where can we find it?

Is VPro supported on I7 processors?

 

Yes, the recorded webcast will be available on-demand. You can find using the event's registration url.

Intel does have plans to support vPro on the i7 processor with specific chipsets/firmware to give you AMT capabilities.

 

If vPro is activated on a machine, but then not utilized, is there any functionality hit the machine will see vs. not having vPro activated?

 

There is no impact on functionality if vPro is activated and not utilized. Depending on the configurable vPro Management Engineer Power State, there may be a minimal electricity draw.

 

                                                                          

In order to activate vPro is it necessary we have Microsoft SCCM 2007?

 

No. vPro can be activated either without a management console in SmallMediumBusiness (SMB) mode or with another management console such as Symantec' Altiris. SMB mode involves configuring each computer individually however, so it is not recommended for organizations with a large number of client PC's. Hope that helps.

 

Is SCCM the only available management console that can tap into the vPro hardware?

 

While Configuration Manager integration with Intel  vPro technology has been a successful, industry leading joint venture there are more management console’s that take advantage of Intel vPro. (For example Altiris, LANDesk, HP OpenView, etc.)

We are a global organization. How is performance in a larger geographical area? Are there any limitations or degradation of service?

 

Based on the SCCM architecture design will determine the performance for Out-of-band management. For each of your site servers that manage SCCM clients/system, you would add the OOB service point to the site server. This will allow you to use OOB manage to those systems managed by that site server.

                                      

Windows XP support for Config Manager and VPro?

 

Yes, Windows XP is supported on both Microsoft ConfigMgr Clients and on Intel vPro Technology enabled clients.

 

Will the Webcast be available for view after the fact?

 

Yes. recording and will get emails out with links to ondemand after the event.--James

 

I saw an INTEL driven presentation of ATM/VPRO management integrated with SCCM SP1 and to me was impressive. One question is, can I use this integration in SCCM to see the remote console while machine is being powered on similar to the HP Proliant ILO? I do not remember seeing the piece of the demo then.

 

Once the system begins to boot to the OS, you will no longer see the remote session. You would switch to a standard software based remote control solution. vPro helps you get to a working OS.

 

Using SCCM, you could not see the remote machine boot up process. However, do you have an alternative ATM/VPRO console to see the remote machine boot up for a BIOS modification, or network boot so we could reimage the machine using SCCM? Thanks Ramon Martinez Toronto, Canada

 

Microsoft Configuration Manager SP1 does have the ability to perform an AMT / vPro Serial Over LAN (SOL) session to interact with the BIOS and watch the initial boot process.

 

Can you do more than view the BIOS screen, can you edit it?

 

Yes, you have full control of the BIOS to view, change, save, etc although it is presented in a text-based interface rather than a graphical one. Hope that helps!

 

Is there a web address on Intel's site that lists manufacturers and models that have this capability?

 

Yes, please see the following: http://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-2033

 

We currently purchase the latitude e6500 and the optiplex 960. What is the key piece of hardware to look for in an inventory to see that these systems are capable?

 

Once you enable your infrastructure and ConfigurationManager OutOfBand ServicePoint to support vPro, you can do a discovery to detect the AMT Status of any machine. It will return either "Not Support", "Detected", "Not Provisioned", or "Provisioned". We also have a tool called AMTScan that can scan clients on your network to report back the AMT firmware level, driver versions, etc. too.

 

The previous speaker mentioned Green Savings, Power Savings. Is there anything that you know of out there that I could come up with an ROI presentation showing the possible savings in energy?

We have our ROI presentation available on the web. The power savings for power on/off are pretty consistent. There Intel Activation Assessment can help solidify the numbers and offer case study options.

Jeff Wettlaufer, We have older hardware at my job and am wondering how to convince management to get newer hardware in order to make use of this technology? Any brand of PCs recommended?

From a System Center perspective, there a range of industry leading hardware vendors that provide vPro enabled systems, and we work with all of them.  Some of the obvious larger names (Dell and HP) have been increasing their range of systems and price points where vPro chipset technology is available, and System Center can help reduce the cost to plan, build, deploy and manage  those (and others).  From a System Center with vPro perspective, we work with all of them.

Can I utilize vPro features without purchasing additional software?

 

Joseph, There is a built-in capability to use some of the vPro features with just a web-browser. However, there are some features that require some sort of ISV program. There are some free, open source tools available as well from Intel (Manageability Developer Toolkit and Commander specifically). You can find them on the Tools page of the vPro Expert Center (located here: http://communities.intel.com/openport/docs/DOC-1171/). There are also additional tools on that page, and many useful documents/whitepapers on the overall website itself (located at: http://www.intel.com/go/vproexpert). I hope that helps.

                                   

How does a system have to be connected to be manageable by VPro? Can it be hooked up to a home LAN or wireless network?

 

vPro supports connectivity on the LAN via both wired and wireless connections. MS will provide native support for wireless in the upcoming SP2 release of ConfigurationManager. For remote users at home over a VPN, you can manage them w/ vPro as long as the OS is functional. In the event it is not, we have another feature (not yet supported by MS) call "Fast Call For Help" that lets the user initiate a support call back to the enterprise over a wired internet connection...even if the OS will not load.

 

Can you perform remote wipe on stolen equipment with VPro?

 

vPro itself will not perform a remote wipe, but there is ISV software available that will provide this capability and works in conjunction with vPro.

Can configmgr handle mixed vPro and non vPro environments?

 

Yes, SCCM can handle both environments, but of course the non-vPro systems will not have OOB capabilities. Within ConfigMgr, they provide native capability to discover and distinguish between vPro and non-vPro systems.

 

I noticed that Intel vPro AMT comes with our newer Dell systems. However, is there a way to get the vPro functionality on older Dell Systems where it doesn't come standard?

 

Intel vPro Technology is a component of the Chipset and added during the manufacturing process. If you have clients that are not vPro / AMT enabled, you are will not be able to add Intel vPro technology to the client after the fact.

 

So Config Manager replaces SMS?

 

Yes, SMS was replaced approximately 3 years ago with System Center Configuration Manager 2007.  System Center Configuration Manager has made significant advancements across a number of areas since the days of SMS, you can find out more on our product pages here.

 

Activate Today! Realize ROI with Intel® vPro™ Technology and LANDesk is now available for viewing and download

 

We are hosting a series of ROI and activation webinars on Tech Republic; each one is focused on a specific management console - Symantec Altiris, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, and LANDesk.

 

Join the team from the Intel vPro Expert Center for an informative Webcast on the ROI savings and activation process for PCs with Intel® vPro™ technology and LANDesk.

 

This live TechRepublic Webcast, featuring Q&A, will be hosted by James Hilliard and feature special guest speakers from Intel Corporation, Jeff Marek, Director of End User Platform Engineering, Digital Office, and Jeff Torello, Staff Architect, Digital Office and Rich Williams, Director of Strategic Alliances, LANDesk. They will discuss the ROI possible with Intel vPro technology usage models activated, a review of the primary usage models supported by LANDesk, and an overview of the activation process using LANDesk.

 

 

 

Have questions that aren't covered here? Please post them in the Ask An Expert forum and we'll get them answered for you.

 

Question                                                        

Response

Is there savings report that can be provided to management on using power save option? How can we prove to them that we used this many KW of power before and this is the usage after the changes and this is the saving in dollars.....is it possible through Intel/LANDesk combo....

LANDesk has a power savings estimation tool you can use to predict power savings. (http://pmdb.cadmusdev.com/powermanagement/quickCalc.html) There is a product that is part of the LANDesk management suite called LANDesk Power Manager that can assist with this.

Does LANDesk works on windows 7

Not currently, but it will when Windows 7 ships or shortly thereafter

 

Can we have Jessie's email address - I am in the planning stage of implementing vPro and it would help if I can get some advice from him....

Sure! jesse.fournier@mortenson.com 763-287-5490

Can the test lab be in VM

The server side can be VM, absolutely. The client machines need to be physical hardware. :)

What if I convert a vPro machine to virtual - will it still not work in vm environment...

You cannot virtualize the vPro client as the vPro functionality is inside the chipset of the machine, not in the Operating System software. For a lab, there would be no benefit to virtualizing the client systems as you need physical machines in order to test the vPro features.

Is there a step by step guide to configuring LD for vPro

Yes, there is a quick start guide available on the Intel vPro Expert Center: http://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-1381

 

Is this guide specific to vPro and LANDesk?

Yes, that is correct. If you're looking for additional information on vPro, please see: http://www.intel.com/go/vproexpert

Is there a specific vPro client recommended when using LANDesk

LANDesk supports all current versions of vPro. There are several manufacturers that provide vPro systems. We do not recommend one over another. It is best if you make the choice as to which manufacturer best meets your needs. The vPro implementation is similar across all.

Are all AMT type computers considered vPro and how can I tell the management engine is enabled

There are a few generations of AMT and the latest versions will qualify for the vPro logo. The latest versions are AMT 4 & 5. If you don't need the additional features that were added in these versions, you can buy a version referred to as Intel Standard Manageability. So there are two versions to look for. The 2nd question about the management engine state. I'd suggest looking for a utility on the vPro Expert Center called iAMT Scan. This runs an application at the client called MEINFO and puts the info into the registry. You can then query the registry to see what version of the Management Engine (ME), its state - enabled or not, as well as versions of supporting software on the client.

What difference for at least power management would there be with using vPro to do it or the built in LANDesk functionality to control machines for example to power on a machine, patch it and then shut it back down?

Previously at any given time, there were usually 20% of the machines turned off and on weekends even higher. With 'green' initiatives, many companies are requiring most PCs to be turned off. However, to patch machines, LANDesk needs the PCs turned on. So they either have to be left on or be turned on remotely. The savings comes from being able to turn machines on to patch them and turn them back off. If they are on, LANDesk can patch them and then turn them off if the corporate policy allows this. I hope that addresses your question.

 

Where is that inventory script to identify vPro capable computers?

You can visit this site: click here

LANDesk with 8.8 sp2 using wol has power management features(setting policy, waking machines up and patch for example) so we are looking at that and I was wondering what benefit using vPro for that functionality would provide if any.

In the LANDesk console when you check the wake up box as part of patch management or software distribution, LANDesk will automatically wake up a system via vPro first. Since vPro works over TCP/IP it is more reliable than Wake On LAN. After LD tries to wake up systems via vPro, it then automatically sends out a WOL packet. There are not separated check boxes inside LANDesk to send out vPro and WOL packets, the software does this automatically.

How can we tell what machines are vPro capable in the ld console?

LANDesk uses its Unmanaged Device Discovery to find vPro machines. After a discovery of devices, vPro enabled systems will show up in the vPro system field and then you can drop an agent onto these machines. There are also reports and database queries you can run to show all vPro systems.

You need to provision the VPro config on the PC's. Is there an easy way to do this for PC's that are already in company?

Yes, PCs that are deployed in your environment can be provisioned via the LANDesk agent once you configure the infrastructure to support the remote provisioning (no physical touch). See the quick start guide for details.

 

Is LANDesk as vPro provisioning server able to work without TLS or only with TLS? Regarding vPro manageability, not speaking about provisioning. Thanks. Otto.

Yes, in fact you can change from TLS to non TLS mode inside the LANDesk console

Is LANDesk agent able to provision vPro Bios?

Yes, the LANDesk solution supports Zero Touch Provisioning and other methods of provisioning clients for Enterprise and Small Business mode with or without TLS.  In addition you can update BIOS versions through the LANDesk console.  We use the OEMs flash tools and can schedule a job to remotely flash BIOS.

Is LANDesk capable to overtake text boot screen and also keyboard remotely. Like press "F1","F2" etc... remotely

Yes.  However, some key sequences do not work on certain systems due to BIOS issues.  Note:  As part of vPro Remote Boot Manager in LANDesk, you can enter a client’s BIOS during restart by checking a box and then remotely change settings  in the BIOS via the LANDesk console

 

Is LANDesk capable to activate vPro bios inside of common MB Bios? Especially HP notebooks have vPro Bios configuration disabled, and you have to do motherboard Bios change to enable "CTRL-P". Can LANDesk do it remotely on "branded" PC??”

HP would need to have a utility that allows you to change BIOS configurations remotely.  Once vPro is enabled, you can use LANDesk to enter the BIOS remotely on reboot and edit BIOS settings.  I know Lenovo has a tool that allows remote BIOS changes and this utility can be used with LANDesk technology to change BIOS settings remotely like enabling vPro ME in the BIOS.

We have LANDesk and vPro. What do we have to do to start using these features?

 

The best thing to do is go to the vPro Expert Center and look for the vPro LANDesk Quick Start Guide. That shows you what to do. You can also find demos on both the Intel and LANDesk websites. http://communities.intel.com/community/openportit/vproexpert/activation?view=all&tagSet=1025

 

 

What do you define as new PC configuration? What takes 5 minutes that used to take 90?

 

We have customers who are using Intel vPro and LANDesk to image new machines. With certain hardware, these customers are using LANDesk to image those machines which used to take 90 minutes for the various steps, to just 5 to 10 minutes when the steps are automated.

 

A while back I was lamenting the fact that Intel vPro technology promises to end the need (at least among businesses at the moment) for all of the creative low-tech fixes we all use when our PCs crawl onto the shoulder of the Internet and expire as if they've just ran out of electrons.  I asked you for your most useful low-tech fixes and many of you responded.  We also made this video that captured the secret tricks some San Franciscans use to pump life back into their under-the-weather PCs.

 

I asked my buddy Dave Buchholz in Intel’s internal IT group if he had any low-tech fixes.  Dave’s title is IT Technology Evangelist.  If his title conjures up the vision of someone perched atop an equipment cabinet with a tech manual cradled in one arm and soldering iron raised high in the other, well, that’s Dave.  He’s an accomplished IT professional and something of an IT historian as well.

 

Dave recalls years back that there was a period when the bearings in certain hard drives were typically the first thing to go.  An audible clicking noise was the giveaway to the problem.  Dave says he’d put the ailing drives in a freezer where the bearings would contract slightly as they froze. Once back on a computer, the chilled drives would spin just long enough to offload the data.  Dave must have been working for a appliance company at the time because his fix for a gummed-up keyboard was to run it through a dishwasher.  Dave, this was a specialized IT dishwasher?

 

I say low-tech, but when I asked readers to document their surefire fixes for getting their failed computers running again, solutions ranged from the spiritual (“shut down and restart and pray”) to "alchemy” (interestingly from an IT pro) with some tech solutions mixed in.

 

In the interest of archiving the responses for businesses who may not yet have vPro or consumers interested in bettering their computer capabilities, I’ve taken a shot below at cataloging those I deem key for quick reference.  I’ve placed them under appropriate tags that will make them easy to reference when the need arises.

 

vPro, of course, makes it possible to diagnose and fix problems even in computers that are turned off, or have toasted operating systems or hard drives, and it’s capabilities are now reaching the small-business world with Intel IT Director and even virtualized worlds.  Nonetheless, not everyone has vPro.

 

For that reason, this undoubtedly will become a watershed resource.  So, it’s important that it is complete and thoroughly thought through. If you want to propose a category to those below and add any solutions from the complete list of fixes into it or suggest fixes of your own, now is the time to append them in the comments before catastrophe strikes.

 

My thanks along with the appreciation of those who may eventually need this resource to all of you who contributed.

 

PC Fixes in Absence of Intel vPro Technology

 

KISS

Turn it off and on

 

Slightly Less Simple

Ctrl+Alt+Del, then task manager and ending a whole bunch of tasks so only a few are left. If that doesn't work, restart the computer…after two minutes.

 

KISS Plus

Turning it off and then turning it back on again. Then hitting it really hard and see if something gets knocked loose.

 

Wisdom from IT Pros (Apparently from different schools, however)

Extend the life of your computer - buy a desktop KVM and instead of chucking out the PC keep it as an internet-browsing "NetTop". Also useful for long-lasting downloads. Use the KVM to flick between your "main" PC and the NetTop

 

Black tape. Or sometimes a good kick will do.

 

Confidential – Not To Be Shared with the IT Department

Defrag, registration defrag and spyware removal

 

Complete Emotional Breakdown

Start crying, hit the delete button 1,000 times, and if all else fails call my sister and have her boyfriend save me from my tech catastrophe

 

Tears - it must be the salt or maybe the computer gods taking pity on me but it seems to work

 

Reboot, reboot, reboot!

 

Oxygen Depleted Environments

Worst comes to worst, I always just take the battery out of my laptop and let it "breathe" a bit before plugging it back in and booting it up

 

Try blowing air into any port - battery, power cord, usb port -- sometimes it actually works

 

Call In the Marines

Call my dad; he's some kind of a computer engineer

 

Pick the Right Man

Pawning it off on my boyfriend to fix!

 

Man Up and Do What Feels Right!

I've become very accustom to using hibernate and sleep modes. Why bother with a full shutdown and startup. But - IT support got a little upset…stating I was reckless, the system wasn't "made to do that", and so forth. So - back to the wasted time of shutdown and power-up

 

When Melt-Down (Structural or Emotional) Is Imminent

Close my eyes and hope the problem goes away

 

Call the geek squad – ask my children

 

Don’t Even Mess with It, Refresh

Accelerated upgrade cycle

 

How Do I Use the CSV File Generated by Dell CFI Process?

If you've utilized the Dell CFI process for vPro configuration\provisioning, you've likely received a CSV file with a list of preshared keys and password.   The normal process of importing the security keys to the Intel SCS database will not work since the import process is prompting for a .BIN file.

 

One workaround is to directly import the CSV data into the target database - IntelAMT. 

 

Making a direct database modification has inherit risks - thus you may want to test this on a separate system if unsure.   The good news - if you test on a separate non-production system, you can then follow the correct key export procedure which will generate a valid setup.bin file.  The valid setup.bin file can then be imported to your production server.

For those that want to go directly to database insert - here's what you do:

  • Check the last index number of IntelAMT database table csti_pid_map.  
  • Modify the CSV file to align to the target database table format (id, pid, pps, current_password, admin_password, used)
  • For the "used" field, value of zero '0' is unused and will show the values in the console once imported.  A value of '1' is used and will hide from console view
  • Use a bulk SQL import to insert the modified CSV file directly into the database

Explanation of Attached Sample File

In the attached file (convertCSV2BIN.zip) are three sample files for your reference:

  • samplesetup.csv - Modified CSV file to match the database table structure.   Notice that the index starts at 108 - this is because my test system already had generated 107 keys before stepping through this exercise
  • importcsvPID.sql - Sample SQL script for bulk import of samplesetup.csv to the IntelAMT database table csti_pid_map
  • samplesetup.bin - Correctly formatted .BIN file for preferred method of import   (this is unnecessary if you've decided to directly import)

Concluding Thoughts

My intent in sharing this is to provide a simple workaround method to frustrating situation.   Conversations with Dell associates have occurred, yet corrections to the CFI process for vPro provisioning have not yet occurred.   Thus in the meantime - if you receive a CSV file - use the workaround.

See Josh Hilliker and Ryan Ettl show a demonstration of Remote Management with Fast Call for Help at a local coffee shop in Folsom. See the video below or at this link on YouTube..

 

 

Matt Royer wrote in June about some of the new AMT-related features being included in Service Pack 2 for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007. I recently installed ConfigMgr SP2 in my lab environment, and wanted to follow up on Matt's post by sharing some screenshots of the new AMT features, for those of you that may not be beta testing SP2

 

** The updated AMT Settings screen, which now features the option to set the power package for the management controller.

 

Sccm Sp2 - Oob Amt Settings Expanded Edited.png

 

** The new Provisioning Schedule screen (no more editing your sitectrl.ct0 file!)

Sccm Sp2 - Oob Provisioning Schedule.PNG

 

** The new main 802.1x & Wireless Profile Configuration screen (there are a couple of detail screens below)

Sccm Sp2 - Oob 802.1x & Wireless.PNG

** The new Wireless Profile Detail screen

 

Sccm Sp2 - Oob Wireless Profile Detail Edited.png

 

** The new 802.1x Profile Detail screen

 

Sccm Sp2 - Oob 802.1x Profile Edited.png

 

I don't have a provisioned client in my lab yet, but once I do, I will see if I can investigate the updated Microsoft OOB Console, and capture some screenshots. As Matt's post stated, there should be added functionality for inputting information into the 3PDS (Third-party data store), so I assume there will at least be that change.

 

Cheers,

 

Trevor Sullivan

Systems Engineer

In IT environments where device naming standards may be coarse, or where users can freely rename their systems at will, you may experience problems managing these clients' AMT firmwares. Since, in order to maintain proper AMT functionality, the OS and AMT hostnames must match, an IT administrator or engineer would likely be interested in finding out which machines do not meet this criteria.

 

With that in mind, I've written a simple SQL query, that can be run against your Configuration Manager database, to determine what devices have mismatching OS and AMT hostnames. I've pasted the text below, but if you want a more nicely formatted version, please see this link at PasteBin.

 

/*
Author: Trevor Sullivan

Date: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Purpose: Identify devices whose AMT hostname and OS hostname mismatch
   in the Configuration Manager database

*/

 

select
-- Active Directory site name
[AD_Site_Name0] as 'AD SiteName'
-- AMT hostname (in provisioning record)
, [amt].[HostName] as 'AMT HostName'
-- OS hostname (should match AMT firmware)
, [sys].[Name0] as 'OS Hostname'
-- Retrieve UserID to identify device owner
, [UserName0] as 'UserID'
-- Hardware vendor
, [cs].[Manufacturer0] as 'Vendor'
-- Device model
, [cs].[Model0] as 'Model0'

from v_AMTMachineInfo [amt]

-- Join v_R_System to retrieve AD Site Name field
join v_R_System [sys] on [sys].[ResourceID] = [amt].[MachineID]
-- Joinv_GS_Computer_System to allow us to retrieve make/model information
join v_GS_Computer_System [cs] on [sys].[ResourceID] = [cs].[ResourceID]

where
-- We only want current resource records from ConfigMgr
[sys].[Obsolete0] = 0
-- This condition determines the mismatching hostname in the v_R_System and v_AMTMachineInfo SQL views
and [sys].[Name0] <> [amt].[HostName]

 

Cheers,

 

Trevor Sullivan

Systems Engineer

Activate Today! Realize ROI with Intel® vPro Technology and Symantec Altiris is now available for on-demand viewing!

 

We are hosting a series of ROI and activation webinars on Tech Republic; each one is focused on a specific management console - Symantec Altiris, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, and LANDesk.

 

This webcast features special guest speakers from Intel Corporation, Jeff Marek, Director of End User Platform Engineering, Digital Office, and Jeff Torello, Staff Architect, Digital Office and Lee Bender, Sr. Technical Manager of Strategic Alliances, Symantec. They discuss the ROI possible with Intel vPro technology usage models activated, a review of the primary usage models supported by Altiris, and an overview of the activation process using Altiris.

 

In addition, Kelsey captured the questions and answers from this session (Thanks Kelsey!!).

 

Have questions that aren't covered here? Please post them in the Ask An Expert forum and we'll get them answered for you.

 

 

Question

Answer

Q1: Are there other   vendors/products that take advantage of the vPro technology, or is Symantec   exclusively doing the management for the vPro technology?

A1: Yes, there are others. In fact, we have many ISV partners that   support vPro Technology in their client management solutions. Other than   Symantec, Microsoft supports vPro in their Configuration Manager (aka SCCM)   product in the Out-of-Band Manager component. LANDesk also support vPro   Technology, as well as others.

Q2: Cleveland Clinic: How much   do you pay to purchase desktop from HP? Any minimum purchase?

A2: We buy over 5000 new pc's a year on our lifecycle process. We   have built into this process the imaging and vpro setup. The cost is volume   based, but anyone can buy a PC from HP with VPRO enablement on a one off   basis.

Q3: How could you boot a   remote system from a network ISO if the OS is down? ie no vpn client? Thanks!

A3: With the Intel vPro technology, a boot redirection can be   initiated. This allows a bootable ISO to be presented to the system. There   are online demonstrations at Intel vPro Expert Center and Symantec Connect. This   is the power of Intel vPro technology and out-of-band management. Regardless   of the host operating system state, Intel vPro technology communications can   connect to, power on\off, present a bootable ISO, and other items over the   network. The bootable ISO can be located at any accessible UNC share. There   are online demonstrations at Intel vPro Expert Center and Symantec Connect.   Example article.

Q4A: What specific kinds of   problems can be fixed remotely, if the OS isn't operating?

A4: Software problems. By booting to an ISO located somewhere on the   network, the technician has the ability to run diagnostic tools or repair   corrupt files on the local hard drive. So, specifically, a tech could fix OS   problems, perform hardware or low-level scans, boot into the BIOS to review   and change BIOS settings, etc. This ability to redirect the boot process   allows the tech to access common diagnostic tools, even if the OS won't boot!   But obviously, bad hardware cannot be fixed remotely and will require a   desk-side visit.

Q4B: OK, so maybe this is   obvious, but to implement this, I need all new hardware, right?

A4: You may already have systems supporting Intel Active Management   Technology, within the Intel vPro Technology platform. The technology has   been in systems for over 3 years now. There are tools and articles on Intel   vPro Expert Center and Symantec Connect explaining how to find systems. One   example is here. Intel vPro Technology is a platform (analogous to Centrino) that   consist of: CPU, chipset, and network adapter(s). I am not aware of any   computer manufacturers that offer FRU (field replaceable unit) upgrades for   motherboards/systems to convert a non-vPro PC to vPro. So, yes, the short   answer is, unless you have existing PC's that support vPro, as companies   refresh their fleet, they can opt for vPro Technology in their new PC   purchases. We maintain a list of PCs featuring vPro Technology on the vPro   Expert Center here.

Q5: How long of a time frame   from investigation of vPro to actually having machines up and working?

A5: [Cleveland Clinic] It’s a process to start this. You really need   to engage the product your using and vPro together. We were very early   adopters in this process, and really took us about 6-7 months. Once we got   through all those initial hurdles, we were able to move very quickly. We have   a lifecycle process now and also pushed that back to our manufacturer. In   terms of new deployment, I think it would be much quicker.

Q6: Were all of your employees   behind moving to vPro? Were they all believers at first?

A6: It’s having a positive impact and is lowering the workload for   people responsible for managing these systems.

Q7: How could you boot a   remote system from a network ISO if the OS is down or maybe if you don’t have   a VPN client?

A7: Intel vPro technology is contained in the hardware, so the OS   itself is irrelevant to the functionality of vPro. The way this would   typically work is that the chipset manages the network stack and so it’s   still on the network with same IP/hostname. You can connect with the Symantec   tool and tell it to grab this network based image (ISO) of our repair utility   that we put together inside our company. That machine will reboot and load   that image across the network. Now, if there’s no VPN client, you can provide   the user a CD to cause the computer to be rebooted, or a USB image and have   that capability still be performed.

Q8: What are the typical types   of problems that customers are fixing remotely?

A8: It’s the ability to reach out and repair and recover the machine   from a variety of bad scenarios. You can go down the wire to figure out if   your inventory isn’t up to date and what kind of hardware it is. Once you   have the ability to boot to an ISO – you can jump into the BIOS you can help   the end user walk through it, low level scans, copy over possibly corrupted   files. We have seen people reboot dead hardware to do even just limited   functionality. Once you can fix something remotely you can repair things that   you usually couldn’t.

Q9: Are there other software   tools that can be used to manage vPro PCs?

There are about 60 different programs that support vPro capabilities.   On the vPro Expert Center there is a list of the programs that support vPro.   Some examples are Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and   LANDesk.

If you have experienced WMI related issues with the SMS Addon or are worried about potential WMI related issues you might want to read this...

 

 

 

The SMS Addon relies on calls to the WMI service for interacting with SMS and it calls the WMI service more than you might think. For some customers it has been observed that the default frequencies of these calls coupled with the amount of data/entries (such as number of advertisements, number of collections etc.) causes a very high load on the WMI service and a subsequent crash of the service that requires a full reboot of the entire Server (not just the service). Obviously that is not an acceptable situation for a production customer, however there are 8 specific instances where the SMS Addon makes calls to the WMI service which can be tweaked to provide a potential resolution.

 

 

 

You won't see these 8 registry keys in the registry as the SMS Addon uses default values inside the SMS Addon code. You would need to generate these keys yourselves and provide values in order to override the defaults used. The list of these keys and the what they are for are as follows:

 

 

All registry keys need to be created in: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Intel\Intel(R) AMT Add-on\GEN\ folder and Dword values need to be entered in minutes. Any value but 0 is legal. There is no disable value and hence 'disabling' is achieved by setting a very high value such as 5 (2,628,000 minutes) or 10 years (5,256,000 minutes).

 

 

 

These is the list of the scheduled WMI related operations:

 

 

 

 

  1. NewSysScanInterval used to identify new systems in SMS (discovered by SMS discovery methods like AD discovery) – by default runs every 60 minutes – not needed if no systems are managed by SMS Site (such as Central SMS Site).

 

  1. DeletedSysScanIntervalused to remove information about systems removed from SMS – by default runs every 60 minutes – not needed if no systems are managed by SMS Site (such as Central SMS Site).
  2. SCSSystemScanIntervalused to find new machines in SCS – by default runs every 60 minutes – not needed if no systems are managed by SMS Site (such as Central SMS Site) and also this doesn’t apply if add-on isn’t integrated with SCS.
  3. SystemChangeMembershipScanIntervalused to identify systems membership in groups (for system defense settings) – by default runs every 60 minutes – not needed if no systems are managed by SMS Site (such as Central SMS Site) or if system defense isn't being used.
  4. OffLineSystemScanInterval – used to run commands on machines that were offline (used for system defense and event registration) – by default runs every 5 minutes – not needed if no systems are managed by SMS Site (such as Central SMS Site) or if system defense or event registration aren't being used.
  5. SCSrequestScanInterval – used for tracking requests from add-on to SCS (unprovision, reprovision) – by default runs every 5 minutes – not needed if no systems are managed by SMS Site (such as Central SMS Site) or no un/reprovision commands are run from the add-on; also this doesn’t apply if add-on isn’t integrated with SCS.
  6. UpdatedAdvertisementsScanIntervalused for reading advertisement definitions – by default runs every 2 minutes – not needed if no systems are managed by SMS Site (such as Central SMS Site) or if advertisement wakeup or system defense aren't being used. Runs frequently to pick up any changes to advertisement settings.
  7. AdvertisementChangeScanInterval used for identifying status of systems with system defense settings on advertisements – by default runs every 5 minutes – not needed if no systems are managed by SMS Site (such as Central SMS Site) or that don’t run system defense on advertisement.

 

Tal

 

 

TriActive, Inc., founded in 1997, has recently added AMT (vPro) capabilities to their software. This product is called Systems Management On Demand and you can read more about it here. In their own words, "TriActive was a pioneer of delivering Systems Management solutions using a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model to organizations of all sizes for laptops, desktops, servers, and network devices." (from their website) Below we have provided some screen shots of their newly acquired AMT capabilities...

 

  • Systems Management Overview Video
    • LAN and Web-based remote control & diagnostics
    • Intel vPro with AMT support when Microsoft Windows is not running
    • Asset hardware, software, security inventory with change history
    • Fully integrated SW delivery, Patch mgmt, License Compliance
  • Case Studies - From Newsweek to the YMCA, they've aquired a pretty good range of customers.
    • "We were very keen on getting full infrastructure coverage almost instantaneously. TriActive's hosted service got us up and running within days. We did not have to install any software, and we have no software to maintain. TriActive promised us a solution that worked immediately, and that's what we got, without any of the hassles of typical software installations," says the CTO of Newsweek.

 

 

TriActive - Systems Management On Demand - Screen Shots

 

 

 

 

AMT Remote Options

1-AMTRemoteOptions.jpg

 

 

 

AMT Status

2-AMTStatus.jpg

 

 

 

AMT Event Log

3-AMTEventLog.jpg

 

 

 

Initiate SOL

4-InitiateSOL.jpg

 

 

 

SOL Boot to BIOS

5-SOL-BootToBIOS.jpg

 

 

 

AMT PowerOn

6-AMTPowerOn.jpg

 

 

AMT PowerOff

7-AMTPowerOff.jpg

Intel and Symantec recently released an eBook containing videos, whitepapers, customer and analyst testimonial, and related information on client based solutions.

 

The eBook is entitled: Turn Sustainable IT Strategies into Real ROI

 

Go to http://symantecintelalliance.com/ebook to check it out for yourself.

 

There are sections on Sustainable IT, Manageability, Virtualization, and ROI.

 

The following a screenshot and quick glimpse - click to go to the live version

 

ebook.jpg

 

Visit the eBook today to learn more about how Intel and Symantec are providing Real ROI to our customers today!

Windows 7 Coming out October 2009…
What are we getting ourselves into this time?
Read this fresh young perspective on my experience with Windows 7*…

*Note that this is from the use of Build Version 7077

 

 

 

 

 

With the release of Win7 coming soon, I thought that I’d have to give it a go and see, firsthand, if Win7 is what we’ve all been waiting for. At first glance I began to ooh and ahh over the pretty features and slightly more sleek appearance. Windows Vista had, in general, not done so hot when it came to public opinion. This was clearly stated in an article by InfoWorld, if you care to read that here. The transition from Windows 95 and 98 on up to Windows XP had been a little bit difficult; however, consumers saw that the upgrade outweighed the hassle. That was not the case with Vista, and so now we are coming to a new OS, Windows 7. And while I am no computer connoisseur, I am just about as typical of a user as it gets. I’m heading off to college this fall and use typical applications and apply a fair workload to my PC. After these past months experimenting with Windows7, you can bet I’ll be upgrading this October on my college laptop. It’s faster, smoother, and has a better appearance that all older versions of the Windows OS.

 

 

 

The first thing that caught my eye, was the awesome taskbar. No longer are your items jammed so tightly on the taskbar that, when you have many apps open, you can only see a measly 3 letters of each window. Instead, Win7 has so wisely grouped all of your windows by simply what application they’re running from. Instead of 8 individual windows for all of the e-mails you have open, you have one Microsoft Outlook icon. And when you hover your mouse over this icon, all the outlook windows you have open conveniently display right there in little boxes. This works for all your programs. As you can see below I was on my desktop and had my cursor over the MSFT icon, and it brought up, in a transparent window, all three Outlook windows that I currently had opened. This sort of gave me the idea of how a Mac has a “dock” with little icons of all your running programs. It’s a neat feature and really provides for a clean smooth transition between windows. Another cool feature is when you hover your mouse over one of the three boxes, it provides a closer look and drops off everything else you have open and just shows that window, one click and it brings back all other windows and places the one you’ve selected on top and ready to be used.

Capture.PNG

 

When I decided to stop playing with the new exciting taskbar, I moved on to attempt migration of my data from my Windows XP laptop to this new laptop with Win7. I was hesitant to attempt this because I was fearing that all would break loose and I would lose my data or not have everything copy properly. I was so wrong. Windows 7 made it really simple to transfer files. It identified all the data and sorted it accordingly. No folder was left empty and all of it went flush into the right sections. All my pictures, music, and files looked identical to how I had them before on my old laptop. I was rather pleased.

After getting the data I needed, I was surprised and excited to see what other cool features this computer had to offer. Being the girly girl that I am, I went straight to the desktop to search for all the new “Personalize” goodies. I was excited to see that, like Vista, it had the gadgets to place on the desktop. I put up the weather, a calendar, and a clock all adjusted to my time and location. Ok, so that isn’t so exciting for you who are coming from Vista, but if you’ve never had these “gadgets” before, it is cool. Moving on, I got to the personalization section. Windows 7 offers seven awesome “Themes” for your computer to follow, or you can create your own. In a theme, it customizes your desktop, color scheme, everything. Another cool feature is that your desktop background can shuffle pictures. I set it to take pictures from a certain folder, and it changes my desktop to a new picture every day. This adds to the sleek new look of Win7.

captureee.PNG

 

 

If you are moving from XP or older to Win7 you are going to be blessed with a built in search bar in the start menu. It is fantastic and instantly searches your whole computer for anything containing that keyword. You can find programs, documents, emails, etc that contain what you’re looking for. It’s so simple and is right on the bottom of the start menu. You click the Windows icon and then it says “Search Programs and Files,” type in the words you’re looking for and Ta-da! Magic. Also on the start menu, is the capability to go directly to shutdown. On Vista, you click that mischievous button that looks like it would mean shut down, and then you’re stuck in this annoying black hole where you’ve put it to sleep. On Windows 7, “Shut Down” really means shut down. It’s a glorious thing.

 

Capture2.PNG

 

 

 

 

Normally, on older Windows versions, you have to manually set everything in order to have a monitor and your laptop displaying your OS. However, with Win7 all I had to do was plug in the monitor and it switched over and I have yet to make changes to it. It remembers these settings and displays just on the laptop when I have taken it home, and when at work and plugged into the monitor it goes right back to the correct settings. It’s a good hassle-free feature.


 

While we’re going over silly features – I thought I’d take us all back to the calculator. Yes, the calculator has been one of my least favorite things on my Windows XP (can’t speak for Vista users, really, cause I’ve had minimal experience with it.) If any of you still use the calculator on your computer, you know how frustrating it is when you can’t remember if you already hit the plus sign, or what the last number you entered was, etc…well, Win7 has us geeky computer-calculator users covered! Not only does it look 10x sleeker and cooler than the only dinky flat gray one, it keeps a line of what you’ve entered and does the math as you enter it without having to hit enter.
3.PNG

Onto a little bit more commonly used feature…Internet Explorer 8: it totally rocks. The multiple “tabs” in one window has been out for a while I believe, but it still is nice, and IE 8 has added even more features. “Suggested Sites,” for example, has been one of my favorite additions. There’s a button on you I.E. window that says “Suggested Sites” and it shows a drop down window when clicked of some sites that you may like based on your viewing history. You can go further from there and click “See More Suggested Sites.” I’ve shown a screenshot of that below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also really cool is the ability to highlight any words on any website and click on a little blue arrow – it lets you “obtain driving directions, translate and define words, email content to others, search with ease, and more.*” For information about features and the source of that previous quote check out this site. I’ve found just one issue so far with Windows 7. Granted it could be due to the fact that I’m on an evaluation copy, it bothered me nonetheless. It’s when I’m using I.E. 8, the taskbar often beings to flicker out of control. The only way to stop my seizure-like window flashing is to hover or click the task bar enough places until it stops and returns to its normal functioning ways. It’s just a little annoying.

 

5.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all I have been very pleased with Windows 7 and am greatly looking forward to getting it on my college laptop while I’m down at Arizona State. It’s a great new upgrade from Vista and certainly goes leaps and bounds above XP. It’s attracting more of that hip and cool vibe we are all looking for and is easy to use. When deciding on my computer for college, I was stuck in a dilemma that many of us face: the PC I’d always grown up with and could use with my eyes shut, or the Mac with the awesome interface and that oh-so-popular iChat. Well, I think that Win7 sealed the decision for me and has provided a more tech savvy look and an easier smoother transition that what we saw with Windows Vista. Said and done, with only one noticeable glitch, I give Windows7 a total of 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

 

Julie_Nusom

Sustainable IT

Posted by Julie_Nusom Jul 8, 2009

INT-SYM_eBook_CIO_336x280_R1.gif

Intel and Symantec are committed to helping

you implement sustainable IT solutions

that can reduce costs, lower TCO,

and reduce power consumption. Find out how by

viewing the interactive eBook.

 

 

josh.hilliker

Pick the Winner

Posted by josh.hilliker Jul 7, 2009

Awhile back I was talking about a IT knowledge award contest in progress, this is that very contest and the time is now to vote for your favorite Intel Premier IT Knowledge Awards finalist.   Please hit the link below and vote prior to July 15th. 

 

https://ipip.intel.com/go/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http://ipip.intel.com/go/

Have you tried Intel® IT Director 1.5? How do you think of Intel® IT Director 1.5? If you have not tried it and want a glance on how the application is configured, how to do AMT provision and how Intel® IT Director 1.5 is monitoring the security software, here the Flash Demo you can look, very easy, just click the demo file in our support site!

 

http://support.intel.com/support/vpro/itdirector/sb/CS-030558.htm

You’re a small businessperson, and the office computer guy (who actually knows nothing about computers, but was selected because he successfully hooked up a game console to his TV last Christmas) tells you that two of your 10 office PCs are down with viruses or “something,” bringing a halt to a customer proposal that’s on deadline. Two others in accounting keep pausing long enough for workers to take coffee breaks while the systems mull over their keystrokes, pushing the billing process into overtime. Revenue is at a standstill.

 

“What are my options?” you ask. “We could maybe buy some stuff to upgrade them, and call in a computer repair service,” the computer guy shrugs. Buying new computers in the economic downturn seems a questionable call. The computers are only three or four years old and likely you could get another year or two out of them.

 

Nonetheless, while you’re small, these decisions aren’t just about survival and cutting back spending. They’re about remaining competitive and having an edge when the Dow Jones climbs for real. And the business doesn’t run without computers. So, what do you tell your computer guy?

 

OK, I’m an Intel PR guy, so you know where this is going. Nonetheless, bare with me for a bit and there might be some ROI. Rob Crooke, VP for Intel’s Business Client Group, recently tackled some of the key questions around this dilemma in conjunction with a press briefing on a new study by Techaisle. The study looks at the financial aspects of maintaining computers for SMBs.

 

Here’s what the Techaisle study says: The average maintenance cost for a small business on a computer that’s more than three years old is $545. On the average, that includes $326 for maintenance, $99 for those upgrades you’re considering and $120 for out-of-warranty service costs. If you bought the extended warranty, reduce the latter. If you buy a new computer, the maintenance cost drops to $126, the first-year maintenance cost from a study by Jack Gold (Techaisle doesn’t provide a first-year cost.) So, the difference is $419.

 

“Yeah, sure,” you say, “but I have to buy a new computer!” Yes, but let’s see how that $419 might cut the pain. PDS has Intel Core2 Duo-based desktop PCs starting at $540 and CDW offers notebooks beginning at $700. If you add Intel vPro for additional manageability and security, you could move up for $699 and $830, respectively. So, you can buy the new desktop system for as low as $121, a 15-month payback. Now, if you’re larger than small, say 50-100 employees, you can see from the chart below that the payback is less than a year, and will actually make you a $40 profit. OK, OK, I’m a PR guy, but cut me some slack. I’m not making up the numbers.

Money Foil.jpg

Now that’s just the hard dollars that Techaisle captured. A new PC can have other benefits – reduced downtime from viruses, improved energy efficiency and enhanced productivity to name a few. So, maybe investing a few dollars could save you money in the slightly longer run and possibly help you keep your revenue flowing.

 

For more information, you might want to look at the Techaisle study. For a quicker overview check out the fact sheet and white paper, or better see the media briefing with Rob Crooke, ASUSTeK and Gigabyte.

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